Top of the pops’s top 20 articles of 2013

Elliot Bentley

We’ve crunched our numbers from the past twelve months, and the results are in. What were developers most into in ‘13?

We’ve crunched our numbers from the past twelve months, and the results are in. What were developers most into in ‘13? 

Downloading Files in Android [tutorial]

Published way back in 2011, this tutorial on using Android 2.3’s DownloadManager by Mark Murphy continues to be widely read.

19. Java EE 7 – Introduction to Batch (JSR 352) [tutorial]

As Java EE 7 finally launched, and we asked JSR 352 lead Chris Vignola to give an overview of the new batch processing spec.

18. Linus crushes petition, threatens to poison coffee – just an ordinary week [news]

This spotlight on some of the Linux creator’s less polite comments angered and delighted Torvald fans and detractors in equal measure.

17. Using JPA in an OSGi Environment [tutorial]

With project Jigsaw pushed back to some future version of Java, interest in OSGi clearly continues unabated.

16. Introduction to CDI – Contexts and Dependency Injection for Java EE (JSR 299) [tutorial]

In a look at another EE 7 feature, Peter Muir and Mark Struberg gave a comprehensive introduction to Contexts and Dependency Injection.

15. Java 7: The Top 8 Features

This article may have been published in 2011, but let’s be honest – most developers are probably still in the process of upgrading to Java 7.

14. MongoDB mocked after posting “100GB Scaling Checklist” [news]

Despite plenty of positive headlines for MongoDB last year, it’s the haters – and a slightly naive tutorial – that sealed its place on this list.

13. Introducing NetBeans IDE 7.3 – Power tools for HTML5 & JavaScript [tutorial]

Developers love their IDEs, so it’s no surprise to see this advance preview by NetBeans product manager Geertjan Wielenga was so popular.

12. Getting started with Apache TomEE [tutorial]

TomEE was one of the biggest success stories of 2013, its rise solidified by the launch of Tomitribe at JavaOne.

11. Asynchronous Programming With Akka Actors [tutorial]

Jamie Allen not only gave fantastic keynotes at both JAXConf and JAX London, but also wrote one of the year’s most popular tutorials on Scala and Java library Akka.

10. Red Hat take OpenJDK 6 reins from Oracle [news]

When Java SE 6 passed its extended end-of-life date, Oracle also abandoned its open source implementation, OpenJDK 6. Red Hat’s rescue may be mostly symbolic, but it clearly struck a nerve with readers.

9. High-speed, multi-threaded virtual memory in Java [tutorial]

“Would you like a JVM with terabytes or even petabytes of memory, but still running on commodity hardware?” asked Alexander Turner in the intro to this tutorial. JAXenter readers responded: yes, yes we would!

8. Douglas Crockford: “Java was a colossal failure…JavaScript is succeeding because it works.” [interview]

This interview slipped out on Christmas Eve 2012, having already been published in earlier JAX Magazine. However, when Douglas Crockford posted it on Google+ it began a debate that would continue for weeks to come.

7. Get a tiled layout with jQuery plugins [tutorial]

I’ll let you in on a bit of history: this web-focused tutorial wasn’t written for JAXenter, but for a long-gone sister site called webdev360 (RIP). It’s clearly outlived its original home, earning itself a place in our top ten.

6. The top ten coolest features in NetBeans IDE 7.4 [feature]

A follow-up to the 7.4 preview piece back in May, this covered Netbeans 7.4’s new features like a Chrome plugin, support for SASS and LESS, and an integrated issue manager. Believe it or not, this isn’t Wielenga’s final appearance on this list, either!

5. Reports of Java’s death greatly exaggerated, says RedMonk’s O’Grady [news]

Last year, our sister conference JAXConf returned to the US once again with some sterling keynotes. The most popular of all, though, was by Stephen O’Grady of analysts RedMonk. He challenged the widely-held belief that Java is a “dead language”, pointing out that employment prospects for Java developers are still high and that much enterprise-grade OSS, such as that of Netflix, is still written in Java. We’ve uploaded a video of the keynote here.

4. 5 Reasons to be excited about Java in 2013 [feature]

The start of the year is a time for optimism, which is perhaps why our reflection on why Java is still a hot prospect is so high on this list. Of the five reasons, many are still very relevant: JVM languages taking centre stage, Java drifting into the cloud, and the increasing importance of JavaScript. However, 2013 failed to see the much progress in Sumatra, a project to allow Java performance to be boosted by GPU power, or the appearance of, um, Java 8.

3. Ten fun Raspberry Pi projects: JAXenter’s pick of the crop [feature]

The Raspberry Pi: so 2012, right? Judging by the popularity of this late entry – which was only published in late November – interest in the Raspberry Pi continues to go from strength to strength. From pyromaniac Guitar Hero to protecting endangered species of rhino, there’s something for everyone to do with this humble machine.

2. Effort-free graphs on Android with AChartEngine [tutorial]

AChartEngine was one of the earliest Android-specific charting libraries, and has since been adopted by Facebook and Waze, among others. However, it was only last year that creator Dan Dromereschi wrote this guide, a simple introduction to using the graphics visualisation library, for JAXenter. Since then, the tutorial has become a definitive reference for the library, linked to on the project’s Google Code homepage and becoming our second most read article of the year.

1. From database to RESTful web service to HTML5 in 10 minutes [tutorial]

With almost twice the number of pageviews as the AChartEngine tutorial, Geertjan Wielenga’s guide to building a site with NetBeans 7.3 was far and away JAXenter’s most popular article of 2013. Incorporating the hottest concepts, such as RESTful APIs and HTML5, in a quick and easily-digested tutorial, it’s no wonder that Wielenga’s article continues to be read by hundreds of people every day – and may continue to do so for quite some time.

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